And Away We Go!

Well, we’ve received great (though not always accurate) press, the vendors are excited, we’re all watching the Weather Channel, and it’s only 3 days away!  Time to get it all together, including some directions for our first-time-to-Marietta visitors.map

If you are approaching Marietta from I-77 in either direction, you will take the exit ramp and go right toward town.  You’ll drive through the business district and stay on Pike street.  You will drive past the football stadium and soccer fields and keep driving until the street ends and you can only turn right or go to the Lafayette Hotel.  You will turn right, and now you are on Front Street.  Just a couple blocks and you will see the Marketplace on your left, on the lawn.  There is a public parking lot next to and behind the Armory, along with street parking.  If you can’t find parking nearby, there is another public lot across Putnam Street along the bridge.  If it’s a nice day, you will enjoy walking to the Marketplace and it will give you a chance to check out all the cool shops on Front Street and the surrounding area.

Be sure to leave yourself enough time to explore Marietta, it’s a great little city!  From the parking lot next to the Armory, you can even cross the walking bridge to Harmar Village, another quaint neighborhood with more unique shops.

See you at the Marketplace!

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Good News for Vendors

An announcement to vendors and would-be vendors!

After some consideration and seeking feedback, I have decided to lower the cost for spaces for 2015.  I’ve been trying to strike a balance between offering a quality event, making a (small) profit on this venture, and making the Marketplace an affordable venue for sellers.

Although I received very positive feedback from last year’s vendors and participants had successful events,  I don’t want the fees to take too big a cut frefund-clipart-Mdi7Ayxc9rom your revenue.  While some vendors have high priced items, others have lower price points and would need to sell a lot more to make the day a success.  That fact, along with the the distance some vendors travel and the fact we are an outdoor Marketplace, influenced my decision to lower the cost to vendors.

What does this mean?  Simple–a 10 x 10 space with your own tent is $60 instead of $75.  If you want 1/2 of a provided tent I rent from the city, the cost is $75 instead of $100.  I’ll work with you if you need a larger or smaller space.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PAID AN INVOICE, you will be refunded.  If you used Paypal, I’ll refund back to your account.  If you paid with a check, I will mail you a check.

Although I hope to grow this little venture into a larger regular event, I also want to help vendors get their amazing items in front of lots of people.  By lowering the fees, hopefully the Marketplace will provide a positive and successful experience to all involved.

See you at the Armory!

We’re In This Together!

Okay, we’re getting ready for the May Marketplace, it’s only about a month away!  So what can we do to make it success?  First I’ll tell you what I plan to do—I’ll be spreading the word, sending out press releases, tweeting, posting, and promoting.  The week before the event you’ll see the sign on the billboard next to Big Lots (note to self–make sign!).  I’ll be leaving fliers in shops, emailing friends and colleagues, mentioning it to strangers in the checkout lines.

When you applied to be a vendor, you also agreed to be part of a team.  Did you know that?  Don’t worry, I won’facebook-share-buttont ask much of you as the date gets close.  But I do ask that you check out the Facebook page regularly.  Please share relative posts to your own page.  Be sure to let your followers know where they can find you on May 16th.  If you are an Etsy shop, I’ve created an event on my own shop, please follow the link and join https://www.etsy.com/local/event/21710090915/marietta-marketplace-may-16

If you’ve noticed the EVENT on the Facebook page, nearly 1,000 people have joined!  Even if only a portion of that number attends, we are off to a great start!  There is still room for a few more vendors, so please let your creative friends know.   We want to see that lawn filled with tents!

Art by Hart, Lydia's original work!

Art by Hart, Lydia’s original work!

Thanks again for joining us, it’s going to be a fun day ~See you at the Armory!

Hey, I applied, where’s my name?

Did you submit an application, but didn’t receive confirmation of acceptance?

First, a big thank you for your interest in Marietta Marketplace! This event can’t grow without the support and participation of vendors, the community, and visitors.  The fact that you want to be part of the Marketplace makes me very happy.

The fact that I couldn’t accept everyone makes me sad.  However, I do plan to stay true to the spirit of the Marketplace, showcasing hand made, hand crafted, vintage, upcycled, food products and other unique items locally and regionally  produced.  Although there are many amazing products being sold by local small business people, if they are mass produced, available through franchises or national networks, then sadly this venue isn’t quite the right fit.  The same applies to services such as medical procedures, home improvement, etc.

Finally, the hardest decision for me—the talented crafts person who wasn’t accepted.  Some of you create wonderful products, whether in wood, crochet, fabric, paper —you are proud of your work, and rightfully so.  However, my main goal is for every vendor to have a successful day, and see a good return on your investment of time and money.  So I take into account several factors–whether your product is seasonal and perhaps won’t sell as well during certain months, if your product will appeal to a broad audience, if you seem to have enough inventory for a busy event.  I don’t want to just take your money, give you a space, and hope for the best.  We are going for a balance of vendors that complement each other with their unique products and hopefully provide a positive experience for all.  So if you weren’t accepted for a Marketplace, trust me–it’s not a negative view of your product.  It just means this isn’t the right venue at this particular time.  But please know we wish you all the success with your business and passion for creating.

I’ll work on one event at a time, and I have a number of applications for future dates.  So while you may see favorites at more than one event, you’ll also see new vendors from near and far!

Thanks again for your interest, your application, and your enthusiasm.  See you at the Armory!

Laura

Small Venue, Big Showcase

It’s time to ratchet up preparations for Marietta Marketplace 2015, and one of the first items on my list was to get the events on FairsandFestivals.net.  While browsing the list of events already on the calendar for Ohio, I couldn’t help notice those long-standing established shows that boast 100, 200 or even more vendors.  For a moment, I felt a pang of envy and wondered if I should try to grow the Marketplace more quickly.  Then a memory came to mind…

Have you ever attended a huge craft show or antique flea market?  I have.  First step, try to find a parking space in a field or lot that is filling up fast with anxious would-be buyers. Next, make your way from car to entrance (try to remember where you parked), dragging along your water bottle, tote, purse, sunscreen, etc…  Once inside the event, you are overwhelmed by the number of tents

Yikes--this huge market isn't for the faint!

Yikes–this huge market isn’t for the faint!

and booths—where to begin?  You’ll be sure to fall in love with something early on, and then you’ll have to make a decision.   Snatch it up before someone else does?    (Then you have to lug it around the rest of the day).  But what if you buy it, and find another at a lower price?  If you decide to think about it, will you remember where you saw it?  And if you do remember, will you even feel like walking all the way back after a few more hours of shopping?

If any of this sounds familiar, then you have experienced the downside of the large events.  Sure, the energy, diversity and selection of a large show are a plus.  But let me tell you why a small venue is a great experience for both vendor and buyer.

As a vendor, you will not be lost in the crowd.  If you sell jewelry, you will not be one of 40 jewelry sellers.  You will not have to worry about arriving before dawn to stake out a prime spot.  At Marietta Marketplace, each spot is a prime spot—in downtown Marietta, across the street from the shopping district, easily reached on foot or by car (even by bike path).  When visitors arrive at the event, they will have ample time to browse each booth, and they are sure to see every vendor during their visit.  Many people have seen the vendors promoted on Facebook, on the website, or in the local media.  They will be eager to meet the artists and vendors they’ve heard about and see the products first hand.

As a visitor, you may park within yards of the Armory lawn, or very near.  Admission is free, and you can approach the Marketplace from several directions.  You’ll have the time (and energy) to extend your visit and walk to the nearby shops and eateries, making your day in Marietta even more satisfying.  If you fall in love with a large item, don’t worry–your car is nearby!  Having a hard time making a selection?  That’s okay, because the venue is small enough that you can visit vendors more than once.  In fact, take time to chat with them, learn their processes and inspirations, it makes your special purchase just a bit more special.

marketplace photo (2)

While large events and mega-shows have their appeal, I think for now I’ll take my Marketplace the way I like my towns—small, friendly and full of good things.

See you at the Armory!

Laura

It’s a New Year, Let’s Get Started!

A belated Happy New Year, and welcome to Marietta Marketplace 2015! While last year proved to be a successful start to this little venture, the coming year will see it grow and become an established event in downtown Marietta.

With five dates on the calendar, and the applications already starting to come in, I am excited about the quality and variety of vendors you’ll see this year! The goal is to fill the Armory lawn with tents and booths for each event, a mix of local and out-of-town vendors. You’ll see sellers you met at earlier events, and new ones introduced at each Marketplace. My continued goal is to curate a balanced offering of art, hand crafted items, vintage and food provided by talented, creative people living in the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond.

The Marketplace isn’t just about buying and selling (although we all hope to see lots of that going on!).  Across the country, small cities and towns are recognizing the importance of having a vibrant downtown with attractive gathering spaces. In order to support the merchants and small businesses that make up the downtown, those spaces need to see large numbers of people on a regular basis. The regular visitors provide the vibrancy that attracts even more businesses; the result is a thriving downtown that adds value to the community.Downtown Marietta

By locating Marietta Marketplace in the heart of Marietta’s historic downtown, we are offering residents and visitors another great reason to spend some time in this wonderful city. Visitors  will find a charming shopping district with unique shops and eateries, just steps from the Marketplace. After spending time browsing our vendors’ booths, you are encouraged to visit the nearby merchants, cross the walking bridge to Harmar Village, enjoy the river trail and other nearby attractions.

Please check this page for Marketplace updates, special announcements and messages. For  promotions, shout-outs and other notes of interest, be sure to follow Marietta Marketplace on Facebook.  Of course, I’d be most grateful if you would help spread the word!

Steven Weber was at the October '14 Marketplace with his beautiful creations.

Steven Weber was at the October ’14 Marketplace with his beautiful creations. Photo by Monkey Business Photography

Thank you for giving Marietta Marketplace a look—whether as a potential vendor, interested visitor, or supportive community member. See you at the Armory!

It’s a Wrap! (And a Thank You)

Well, I woke up this morning to clear sunny skies and thought “Now why couldn’t we have this yesterday?”.  One of the biggest stress factors of organizing an outdoor event is the weather–and oh, how I wish that was under my control!

I want to shout out a huge thank-you to the vendors who drove through rain to arrive in Marietta, who suffered a few broken items when the big wind gusts blew through, who were determined to stick it out till the end, despite cold, rain, sleet/hail, and wind gusts!  Yes, after 2 weeks of gorgeous weather we experienced the full range of Ohio weather, minus heat, in one day!

Despite the less than ideal weather, people still came to browse the quality products of our vendors, and I saw many nice items carried off to a new home.  The first Marketplace in June set the tone of what people could expect, and I believe yesterday they arrived knowing they would find unique items and creative, passionate artists and small business people.   So I woke up this morning with stiff joints and a few lessons learned:

1. I need to keep reminding myself–I can’t control the weather!  I felt personally responsible for the lack of warmth and the gusts of wind, but seasoned vendors realize there is always a risk factor in outdoor venues.  I truly appreciate their good-natured attitudes about it, and I know first-time vendors learned a few tricks about securing their produFall Marketplacects.

2. There are still people who are willing to support local artists and small businesses, who appreciate the time and skill involved in making quality products.  If you provide those people with the opportunity to meet the vendors and see the items first-hand, they will spend their time and money to express that support.

3. Marietta has a thriving downtown!  As a relocated resident living just outside of town, I have spent the last dozen years working within walking distance of Front Street.  It took me several years to “discover” the wonderful shops and businesses that populate Marietta, but since then I have gained a great appreciation and respect for the merchants who work so hard to make it a dynamic, welcoming community.  Without their dedication, perseverance and teamwork Marietta would not be a Main Street city.

4. Our vendors are amazing!  If you visited the Marketplace you were fortunate to meet some talented, creative people who are friendly and willing to talk about their craft.  They are happy to explain their processes, inspirations, or why their product is unique.  You will learn how to care for your purchase or perhaps get tips on how to display/wear/use it.  Your purchase will be more personal, more meaningful and more valued because you know its story.

5. Behind–or beside–every vendor is a strong support system.  Whether it’s my husband setting up tents at 6 am, another husband carrying furniture for his wife’s display, a mom spending the day helping her daughter’s first effort or two sisters driving 3 hours together—we all have people who are willing to invest their time and effort to help us succeed.

6.  Marietta is special!  There are so many reasons to be proud of this little city!  I have received support and cooperation from so many people including the city, Marietta Main Street, the merchants, media and community of artists and vendors.   I approached this project with some fear and trepidation but I have been greeted with positive attitudes and encouragement.  I am truly grateful for that.

7. I have to thank my daughter Sarah for giving me the nudge and inspiration to start the Marketplace.  When she launched her online magazine ClutchMOV, her excitement about the artists and business people she interviewed was contagious.  Her introduction to the City Flea in Cincinnati was my model, and I met my first vendors through Sarah.  Clutch was also my partner for the inaugural Marketplace, and Sarah has taught me all I know about social networking.  And I’m ashamed but proud to confess that Sarah was willing to appear on Daybreak in my place!

I’m sad that the “pop-up” season is coming to a close; I’m so ready to plan another!  But be assured that 2015 will see a bigger, better Marketplace each month starting in May.  Please follow us and I’ll announce dates as soon as possible.  There will be more features such as live music, wine tasting, etc.  that will make the Marketplace a true event!   Thank you again for your participation and support!

~Laura

See you at the Armory!

Well, we’ve been getting lots of press, the vendors are excited, we’re all watching the Weather Channel, and it’s only 2 days away!  Time to get it all together, including some directions for our first-time-to-Marietta visitors.

If you are approaching Marietta from I-77 in either direction, you will take the exit ramp and go right toward town.  You’ll drive through the business district (and some road construction, sorry) and stay on Pike street.  You will drive past the football stadium and soccer fields (and more road construction, sorry again) and keep driving until the street ends and you can only turn right or go to the Lafayette Hotel.  You will turn right, and now you are on Front Street.  Just a couple blocks and you will see the Marketplace on your left, on the lawn.  There is a public parking lot next to and behind the Armory, along with street parking.  If you can’t find parking nearby, there is another public lot across Putnam Street along the bridge.  If it’s a nice day, you will enjoy walking to the Marketplace and it will give you a chance to check out all the cool shops on Front Street and the surrounding area.  The walking bridge to Harmar Village is right next to the Armory parking lot, so be sure to take that unique walk and discover some excellent shops at the other end!

See you at the Marketplace!

The Art of Display

Or, “How to fit all your items in a small space and show them to their best advantage”.

If you are new to the outdoor market venue, or still trying to tweak your booth set-up, you are probably stressing a bit right now!  Whether you sell jewelry, posters, furniture or food…showcasing your items to attract buyers is an art in itself.

One of the limitationbooth display 2s of booth space is that you don’t have permanent walls to pound nails into, install shelves or lean items against.  You need to rely on tables and freestanding display pieces to make the most of your space.

Your first step is to decide the layout of your booth–do you want people to enter it, as they would a room?  Or do you want to sit behind a display table, with your extra inventory behind you?  Do you want “walls” or open space all around your displays?  Once you have a plan, then you can begin to create displays and arrangements.  Jewelry is one product that lends itself to creative display—muffin tins, screens, driftwood, tiered cake hp photosmart 720stands—spend an hour on Pinterest and you’ll have more ideas than you can use!  Some vintage sellers “stack” their items, placing small stools on tables,  small items in dresser drawers, using wooden crates or vintage suitcases.  Not only does this give you more display space, but it also inspires buyers to look at your items with a new perspective and maybe decide they want to do the

The tents are stunecklace displayrdy enough to hang lightweight items, so a clothesline draped between corners or a light curtain with clips can be useful for prints, scarves and other light pieces.

Be sure to plan for “surprises”–a little breeze can cause a big mess if your paper items aren’t in place!  And don’t forget your essentials–bags, tape, extra tags, pen, change, etc.   Having a little area designated for packaging and making change will make for a smoother day.

Bottom line, have fun!  This is a friendly town and your fellow vendors are a helpful bunch.  We all have the same goal–showcase our products, widen our networks, sell our products and meet great people.

Countown Time – Let’s Promote!

This one’s for you, vendors!  In the next few weeks, our goal is to make sure people know about the Oct. 4 Marketplace, and actually make plans to attend.  We don’t just want them to “Like” my posts and join the event online, we want them on that Armory Lawn!

Please help feed the excitement by sharing posts from Marietta Marketplace’s Facebook page, by posting on your own sites, and keeping your friends and followers informed.  If you have an Etsy shop, please join the event at https://www.etsy.com/local/event/13772789280/marietta-marketplace-october-4

Just a couple more things–23967013-october-4-day-calendar-school-board-date (168x168)

– If you haven’t yet paid your invoice, please be sure to do that quickly.

– If you need to rent tables from the city, I can have those available on the day of the event.  The charge would be $5.00 each/day, and they are available in 6 ft. or 8 ft.  Make sure you have paid for the service you requested, IE: if you paid for use of a tent but are bringing your own, please let me know.

–I hope you are having fun getting ready for the 4th!  This event is bigger than the first one, but we still have room for a few good vendors.  PLEASE share the news with your talented friends who may have a product not yet represented.

Feel free to contact me with any ideas, concerns or questions!

Laura